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Compensation & Benefits

Information return penalties increase for 2024

Failing to file your information returns this year, failing to file in the proper medium—which for most employers is e-filing—or failing to include correct information will now cost you more.

Et tu, reissued W-2s?

Panicky phone calls to the payroll department from employees who lost their paper W-2s are as predictable as the sun rising in the east. You need a strategy for dealing with the reissued W-2 process.

Phase 2 for 2023 W-2s begins now

Corrections to the W-2s you just filed with the Social Security Administration should begin now. Reason: The earlier you fix your W-2 errors, the less you’ll pay in penalties to the IRS. Here’s the whole scoop.

W-2 Wednesdays: What to tell employees about their W-2s

This week we’re tackling your toughest job of all—trying to explain to bewildered employees what all those box entries mean and why they differ.

Takeaways from the DOL’s worker status rule

The Department of Labor released its final rule on workers’ status as employees or independent contractors a couple of weeks ago. The rule, which becomes effective March 11 (pending litigation, of course), restores the DOL’s six-part economic realities test, with an eye toward the modern economy. This rule was never meant to upset the apple cart. But some apples will fall by the wayside. Here are some things to think about now.

Provide child-care, elder-care benefits to attract and keep the employees you need

One obvious tactic to attract and retain caregivers is to offer benefits that help them care for their children and older relatives. Adding either or both to your benefit plan may mark you as a desirable employer. Here are some options.

Report: Health benefit costs projected to rise 9.9% this year

The WTW Global Medical Trends Survey found the cost of medical care jumped from 7.4% in 2022 to a record high of 10.7% in 2023. The insurer-reported cost trend for 2024 is projected to increase by an average of 9.9%.

DOL offers mental-health assistance, compliance resources for employers

Worker stress rose to record levels during the pandemic—and has remained high ever since, according to Gallup Poll surveys. In fact, Gallup says 52% of employees report they have experienced “a lot of stress” in the previous 24 hours. Employers are responding, with 63% of HR professionals surveyed by Willis Towers Watson last fall saying they planned to enhance benefits addressing employee mental health in 2024.

Benefits lexicon: Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence is one of several health-care cost control strategies that has gained currency in recent years.

Grab bag of SECURE 2.0 guidance

Right before our Christmas break, the IRS issued guidance on SECURE 2.0’s provision allowing you to provide de minimis financial incentives to employees to induce them to participate in your 401(k) plan. Since this provision became effective with the 2023 plan year, and considering that financial incentives are fully taxable for payroll purposes, we rushed out our analysis so you’d have time to deal with it in December. But the guidance contains much more.